Monday, December 31, 2012

What a Year.

Christmas Eve marked our one year anniversary of living in our house.  You may remember that even though we bought it in August 2011, the major renovations we took on didn't allow us to move in until the holidays.  I can't believe how quickly this year went by, and even more than that, I can't believe just how much our home has changed in such a short time.

Here are pictures of our house from Christmas Eve 2011...

And here it is Christmas Eve 2012...

Quite the difference, huh?

I'm so very proud of the hard work that hubby, my parents and I have put into this house.  Every single thing we have done turned this old house into our home.  I cannot wait to see what we can do in the year to come!

Oh, and before the holiday season is truly "over" is a little recap of our wonderful holiday, spent with both sides of our families.  First up, we travelled to Connecticut, with my parents, to visit my sister's family and to see their new house.

Then it was time to go to the in-law's and spend time with hubby's family.

Hubby and I didn't exchange gifts this year...which isn't something super new to us.  {We didn't exchange when we were saving for our house in 2010 or when we bought our house in 2011.}  We chose to pass on the holiday gifts, and do other, say make an investment in lots of Christmas lights so hubby could go crazy three extremely discounted rugs that we need for our house...and scoop up an awesome deal on Craigslist'ed campaign dressers.  We even decided to go nuts and get our lawn aerated and over-seeded this past fall.  Doing these "house things" makes us extremely happy, so we are okay knowing that since we are tight on money, Christmas gifts may have to wait until another year.  Heck, just creating our cozy home together is a gift in itself.  {Way cheesy, but 100% true.}

But we did manage to buy a couple gifts for some family members.  My favorites happened to be these UH-MAZING wood pieces that we got for our niece and nephews from the Smiling Tree Toys shop on Etsy.  Their handmade, organic stuff is totally worth checking out.  They even managed to rush my order and get it to me in time for our trip up to CT before Christmas.  In short, they rock!

I hope you all have a wonderful NYE...and a BIG, HUGE THANK YOU to each and every one of you for taking the time out of your day to keep in touch with me and hubby and our home.  It means the world to me, and I appreciate it more than you know!

I'll see you in 2013! :)

Friday, December 28, 2012

What The....

A couple days ago, I shared my wild weekend that involved some fan-freakin’-tasic bedroom re-arranging.  I was having a grand ‘ole time, until...I started moving our king sized bed.  After moving it just a couple inches {we have a rug and furry furniture movers under all the legs so I could easily slide it around the room}, I saw something weird on the floor.

Huh?  What the...

When I bent down, I saw our wool rug was leaving a layer of sand on the floor.  :-/  I’m sure many people may know this happens with rugs, but I did not.  I had never, ever seen it before.  It’s probably due to the fact that all the other rugs I ever owned were inexpensive, synthetic ones.  Wool rugs were a whole new experience for me.  And so far, I’ve been nothing but let down by the experience.  The thing NEVER.STOPS.SHEDDING.  Seriously.  I finish vacuuming, and an hour later, there are a million wool fibers all over the room and spilling out into the hallway.  Shedding fibers + accumulating sand = BYE BYE ANNOYING RUG.  Your amazing good looks just don’t make up for your disappointing personality...errrr, characteristics.

And don’t get me wrong...I realize these terrible attributes could have something to do with the fact that we didn’t pay thousands of dollars for the rug, but it wasn’t cheap either!  The only reason we were able to afford the rug in the first place was because I purchased it from One Kings Lane when it was heavily discounted.  Le sigh.

Since nixing our bedroom rug, our poor tootsies have been very sad about our cold floor, and semi-echo-ish room.  To make up for this, I have been online-stalking rugs like it’s my job.  There are a few rugs that I’ve been in love with since before we moved into our house, but I could never make myself pull the trigger because buying rugs online scares the heck out of me.

Is there a crazy selection?  Yes!  Is it convenient?  Yes!  Is the shipping free?  Yes!  Are the prices great?  Yes!

Butttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt {and that’s a big but}...

Will I like it in person?  What color will it really be?  Will I have to re-package and return it, at my expense?  Am I just creating a huge headache for myself?  I JUST DON’T KNOW!!!

Ugh, it’s so very tough to deal with a major case of FOBO {fear of buying online}.  Luckily, I overcame my fear and ordered three, yes three, rugs from Rugs USA last night.  After more than a year of almost buying from them, I clicked the submit button on my order…and it felt great.

More details to come next week!  Happy Friday! :)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Prep.

I have been in full holiday-preparation mode for the past couple days.  After I put up our frames up, re-arranged our bedroom and stenciled our master bath, I moved on to more important holiday necessities...aka finally sending out our Christmas cards and making my Babo’s {my dad’s mom} homemade cream and coconut cream filled chocolates.  I used to look forward to getting my fair share of them every time we visited her for the holidays.  Eventually, they became too tough for her to make, and once she passed, I took over the reins of making them for my family.  I’m not sure if they taste as good as they did when she made them {I’m always my own worst critic when it comes to food}, but they sure are delicious!

It’s a two day process.  First you have to make the filling, roll them into balls and freeze it overnight...

Then, the next day, you melt semi-sweet morsels and dip them, one by one.

I.  Can’t.  Wait.  To.  Eat.  These.

After those were completed {phew}, next on top of my holiday to-do list was making some new, winter-ish curtains for the living/dining room windows. 

I’m sure this task is on the top of everyone’s list during the holidays.  You know, right before wrapping gifts and making side dishes and pies. ;)'d think I’d even put "getting our ensuite back together after everything I did to it this past weekend" higher on my list, but no…I dove into another project leaving others sorta, kinda finished.

I think it only makes sense that a sewing project would take priority over other things right now because my parents arrived Wednesday night.  That means I have my mom at my side to help with the curtains. :) Luckily, they were finished late last night.  And I'm in love.  I think they add a nice punch to the room.  Once things settle down after the holidays I’ll reveal them.

For now, I have to get my butt moving and wrap all of our presents {thank gosh we only have a few}, make a peanut butter pie and a veggie side dish for my sister’s house this weekend! :)

Happy Friday everyone!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wild Weekend.

How is Christmas only a week away?!?!?  I feel like December flew by in a flash.  And because time is just slipping away, I knew I had to take on a few nagging projects this past weekend, otherwise they wouldn’t be done until at least mid-January {but probably February if I’m being honest ;)}.

So I put my productive pants on Saturday morning and got to work.  The first thing I tackled was painting a sign for a dear bloggy friend who kindly asked for one after I posted about my cheap art for our bedroom.

Then I was determined to get some frames hung up in our hallway.  From the get-go, our hallway lacked a bit of appeal.  It was just b-o-r-i-n-g, and due to our open floor plan, you could see quite a bit of it from many areas of the house.  I tried to amp it up a bit by adding a stencil, and while it worked, I felt like it still lacked a lil' something...especially since our thermostat stuck our like a sore thumb in that space.

My solution?  Add a couple frames to the walls...and since it's Christmas time, add some free, festive printables.  I found some cute ones online, uploaded them to CVS, sized them to fit my 5 x 7 frames and picked them up the very same day.  I even had them in their frames weeks ago, I just never got around to hanging all of them.

Some were quick and easy...because I was putting them in frames already on the walls.  They went up when the rest of our Christmas decor went up.

All of the others just sat in our living room for quite some time. 

What can I say…I absolutely DESPISE hanging things.  I’m actually surprised I hung them before Christmas passed us by.  Especially since it took me months just to hang this tiny gallery wall.

Using 3M command strips and my iPhone level definitely helped to make the process much easier...on both me and my walls.

I’m super pleased with the outcome!  Now you barely notice the camouflaged thermostat.

Okay, so that’s a complete lie…but I’m going to pretend that it helps to take away from how it was all in-yo’-face before.

So after all that fun, I decided to take my efforts to South Beach our master bedroom.  I have been dying to re-arrange our bedroom for a while.  We started out here, with old furniture and not the right paint color.  Then I brought in our Craigslisted makeovers, painted the walls for the 2nd time and switched up the layout.  Well, it was time to change things again….because I was never 100% sold on how we set things up. 

Needless to say, this went down on Saturday night…

What?  Making over a room isn’t your idea of a wild Saturday night???  Well it is in this house! ;) {Kidding.  Sort of.}

Stay tuned for our bedroom changes, and even some master bath stenciling!  Woot woot!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Needs vs. Wants

In an ideal world, we would purchase only things that we need...then all other income would be stashed away into a savings account for our future.  Unfortunately, my lack of willpower has occasionally been known to hinder that aspiration from time to time.  Is it my fault that any cute home décor and/or clothing thats on sale has been known to be my kryptonite?!?  Oh, it is my fault??  Welp, too bad…I am who I am. ;)  And I loooove me a great deal!!

So what was I to do when a super amazing deal fell into my lap {aka - popped up in front of my eyes on my computer screen}?  I caved.  I went for it.  I couldn’t resist.

It was under $200 {still a lot of money, but not when you think about purchasing the same pieces brand new}.  It was solid wood.  THE SELLERS WERE EVEN WILLING TO DRIVE IT TO OUR HOUSE {clutch for people who own cars}.

And it was campaign style.  Did you hear me?!  Campaign style, people!  I have drooled over many of these pieces online, and never thought I’d be able to get my mitts on any.  But these babies are all mine.  And one day, I will give them lots of TLC like I did to these, and love them even more {if that is possible}.

Monday, December 10, 2012

I Survived the Plague.

I’d love to be all cliché and say “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” around our house, but to be honest, it’s been looking pretty Christmas-y in our casa since Thanksgiving ended.  I was all set to reveal our holiday décor last week, but I fell victim to “the plague” {also known as a wicked sinus infection}.  Thanks to some meds, my new bff...the neti pot and some major R&R this weekend, I’m feeling much better.

Which is wonderful news for you guys because I’m sure you’ve been dying in anticipation to see entirely-too-many pictures of our house decorated for the holly, jolly season that is upon us. ;)  Last year, we moved into our house on Christmas our house was truly lacking in the decorations department.  In fact, we were lacking in most things at that point.  So this year, hubby and I were ready to go all out for the occasion!!  There weren’t many areas of the house that we didn’t attack with lights and/or garland.

Hubby took care of the outside, and did a pretty fantastic job.  If you follow me on Instagram {retroranchreno} you saw this shot of his handy work.

I took care of decorating the inside of the house.  We have a skinny, little pre-lit tree that we’ve been using since we lived in our old townhouse.  It was perfect for that space because it didn’t take up much room, and it’s also perfect for this house since we have an open floor plan without a “great” spot to fit the tree.  I love the corner we tucked it into…and how we added some red lights to tie it in with the rest of the house.

I couldn't help myself and decorated our TV console...with an owl, of course.

The mantle is one of my favorite places to decorate...and shocker, I included an owl there too.  He was just too cute and furry to not come home with me from the store. 

And onto our buffet...turquoise and red...YES PLEASE!

Our dining room and console tables got new DIY winter-ish runners and some fun decorations.  The fabric was on sale and exactly what I was looking for...perfect!

Our kitchen got some pops of Christmas...

And so did our barn's my absolute favorite.

And in case you weren't 100% sick of seeing are a few more for good measure. :)

Anyone else looooove to decorate everything for Christmas?  I'm pretty sure we aren't ever going to be a glitter-free house again.  It's all over, no matter how much I vacuum.  Whoooops!

And since we DIY'ed some new runners and a bunch of displays, I'm linking up to the final week of Kim, Michelle, Chelsea and Rachel's Dare to DIY (Deck the Halls) link party!

Thanks so much for hosting such a wonderful series, ladies! :)